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Howard Shelley (b1950)

Howard Shelley’s mother was a trained cellist and it was she who gave him his first piano lessons. He then learnt with Vera Yelverton at primary school. Shelley was a precociously gifted child who by the age of ten had already appeared on a television programme from Glasgow, All Your Own, on which he played works by Chopin and Bach. The following year he made his debut in the recital room of the Royal Festival Hall in London, playing a piano concerto by Haydn. From the age of thirteen Shelley studied with Harold Craxton and at sixteen was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Kendall Taylor, Ilona Kabós and Lamar Crowson and won the Chappell Gold Medal. At twenty-one Shelley made his adult solo debut at the Wigmore Hall in London playing a large programme that included a sonata by Clementi, Beethoven’s ‘Les Adieux’ Sonata Op. 81a, Schubert’s ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy D. 760, Debussy’s Images Book 2, Busoni’s Carmen Fantasy and Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 5 Op. 53. The following year Shelley made his debut at the Proms playing a movement of Liszt’s Hexameron. He also replaced Lamar Crowson as pianist with the Melos Ensemble at this time.



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